07/19/2009 - The shark that bit into Debbie Salamone's ankle as she walked waist deep in Florida's sub-tropical waters shredded her Achilles tendon—and turned her from committed environmentalist into a shark hater.
As she struggled ashore on Canaveral National Seashore, in Florida in 2004, her greatest fear was that she would no longer be able to indulge her passion for competitive ballroom dancing Even as she recovered, she could not help but think that the world would be a better place if there were fewer sharp-toothed monsters lurking beneath the waves.
But over the years her opinion mellowed and today, Ms Salamone, 43, has become a leading advocate for global shark conservation.
Now she and eight fellow shark attack survivors have joined together to demand better protection of this fearsome predator from overfishing - and to try to calm the hysteria that greets each of the 40 or so shark attacks that occur in the US every year.
It has taken years of acupuncture and laser therapy for Ms Salamone to return to winning on the dance floor. Her attitude towards sharks also changed.
"I began to see this as a test of my commitment to environmental conservation," she said. As a result, she began working with the Pew Environment Group, which runs a woldwide shark conservation campaign.
Read the full article Shark Survivors Unite to Save the Predators on the Telegraph's Web site.